Week 3 Fake Football Friday Mailbag September 21, 2012  |  Kevin Hall

Knee jerk reactions, buy lows/sell highs, panic, and hope.  All ideas two weeks of fantasy football have brought out in us on prominent display in this Week 3 version of the Fake Football Friday Failbag, err, Mailbag!

Am I playing Cedric Benson or Erick Decker? Decker’s role as Peyton’s No. 2/3 option has been rather nightmarish so far.


You’re right; Decker certainly has not supplanted himself as Peyton’s favorite target like a lot of fantasy football minds (mine included) thought in the preseason. I think the potential for that relationship is still there once Peyton continues to get in the groove with his new team, but Decker’s matchup this week against Houston doesn’t give you much hope for a rebound performance. The Texans didn’t allow 100 yards receiving total in either of their first two matchups.  Of course, that was against the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Blaine Gabbert (both not as good as Peyton Manning. Ha! And you thought you weren’t going to get any analysis in this column), but I still think Houston is one of the best defenses in the league.

I really liked what I saw from Benson last week. He was running hard and actually got some play catching passes out of the backfield, something he’s not really known for.  Like Decker, he has a tough matchup against Seattle, but Benson seems to be getting his bearings back and I think he’s in line for another double digit fantasy day simply because of his workload.

How about this- who do you like more the rest of the year: Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz?


I must start out by saying I am slightly bias towards Nicks because I was shouting his praises coming out of North Carolina and when players make me look smart, I tuck them away into a special place in my heart.  Now that this is out there, we can move on.

Last week against Tampa, Nicks shows what he can do when he’s 100%, making a good cornerback in Aqib Talib look foolish for 199 yards and a score.  With his size, speed, and elite hands, Nicks is nearly un-guardable.  One problem though, he’s so rarely 100%.  Perfect example this week: against Tampa, he had a few weird falls and got his foot stepped on; causing him to limp around, but you never thought he wasn’t going to play this week.  Then comes Thursday and we find out he didn’t even make the trip to Carolina!  He did play in 15 games last season but, like Dez Bryant, he always seems to tweak something and sit out a drive or two or even miss the rest of the game.  Owning Nicks is an emotional roller coaster.  His good days are great, but his disappointments are sometimes greater.

Cruz, on the other hand, hasn’t missed a game since his breakout in Week 3 of last season.  He doesn’t seem to get mixed up in as many jump balls as bigger receivers like Nicks do, usually running quick slants or deeper seam routes.  This allows him to stay safe from injury, but he also has to catch a lot, and then do something with the ball once he gets it, in order to have a productive fantasy day.

Both are must starts week in and week out, but I think Nicks’ talent prevails over Cruz’s durability.  It’s not easy owning Hakeem Nicks, but I think he’s going to outscore Cruz by the end of the year.


In a 14 team keeper league where running backs are extremely scarce, I have been offered Arian Foster for Doug Martin and Alfred Morris. Both Martin and Morris are keepable (Martin 1 more year, Morris 3 more) and Foster would not be able to be kept next season.

Is it worth giving up my depth to stack my lineup? I would be left with Foster, Charles, and McCluster as the only running backs on my roster with no help left on the waiver wire.


I think we need to start by throwing Morris out the window.  If we’ve learned anything about a Washington running back, they’re value usually doesn’t last an entire season, much less more than one.  This issue becomes a question of Arian Foster for 13 games or Doug Martin for 29 games?

As much as I love Doug Martin and trust me, as a Bucs fan, I love Doug Martin…he’s not Arian Foster.  Martin will never be the 20 points a week kind of running back Foster is and definitely doesn’t have the potential for the 30 point weeks that you get out of Foster 2-4 times a season.

I would roll the dice to try and win your league this year instead of hoping for a future that is uncertain.


Should I buy low on Wes Welker? Also, if this continues, how will it affect Tom Brady going forward?


I absolutely would buy low on Welker, although you might’ve already missed your opportunity with his 95 yard performance last week.  Once Hernandez went down, Brady looked Welker’s way a lot and that should continue.  New England’s offense is just different with Welker out there and I think the Pats realized last week their hardball approach to his contract might not work.

To your other question, the only thing that is affecting Brady is that swiss cheese of an offensive line.  It doesn’t matter who his WR2 is if his heart isn’t allowed to beat once before he’s pressured.  I wouldn’t worry though. Tennessee was a blowout and Arizona might be WAY better than anyone expected this year.

How would you rank Pitta, Bennett, Rudolph and Celek among TEs?


Of course, it’s easy for me to say this after his week 3 performance, but I would’ve put Bennett at the top of this list even before his THIRD straight game with at least 40 yards and a touchdown.  I’ve always like Bennett’s skill set and I’m glad he’s finally able to be the #1 tight end option on a team that flings it a ton so he can showcase it.

As for the rest, I’d go Pitta, Celek then Rudolph. This list is based off their production so far plus how much I trust their quarterback to get them the ball.

After catching 5 passes for 73 yards and touchdown in Week 1, Pitta saw 15 targets in week 2, a pretty astounding number for a tight end.  Everyone expected Torrey Smith to be the no.2 option behind Ray Rice, but it seems like Pitta has overtaken that role.  With linebackers being forced to shadow Rice out of the backfield, the middle of the field has opened up for the 6’4, 245 Pitta to run wild.

Celek and Rudolph aren’t too far apart, but I think Rudolph’s fantasy production is going to be very touchdown dependent whereas, with Maclin unable to stay healthy, Celek has a chance to rack up serious yardage every week.



As always, thank you for your questions and please keep them coming at fakefootballmailbag@gmail.com.

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